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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 3:02 pm 

Joined: Tue May 14, 2019 11:09 am
Posts: 251
Isn't that the same material used in the base of classic Hot Wheels cars? I had some drive rails stump me a while back until I snapped them. Zinc has that distinct porous look when broken. I think my Dad used to call it "pot metal"


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 9508
Location: Low DOS
Potmetal is a very specific class of alloys. Very soft low melting point metals.
Tin and lead is most common (pewter) but with addition of chrome (skunk), aluminium (Alsoft), copper (various bronzes), or silver (silveride).

The term comes from automotive metal casting. Low melt scraps were literally melted together in a clay or iron ‘pot’ cauldron. A great early method of industrial recycling.

With that pointed out, hot wheels are not and have never been potmetal: which is why they are so highly valued by collectors over other micro replicas. For most of their life they were clean die cast aluminium. Though in the mid 80s for an undetermined length of time the body was made of an aluminium and nickel alloy.
Based on terracycle (If I recall correctly) info on a prior collection program Today they’re made from recycled automotive aluminium. Body panels and rims. Making it “irony aluminium”. Hence them being ever so slightly magnetic.

Matchbox on the other hand has always used soft-ish alloys. Lead and aluminium prior to the mid 70s. Tin and aluminium after. With most of the bod stamped steel and later plastic as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:25 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:42 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Troy, NY
When in doubt, most reputable coin stores have some type of XRF equipment.
Have them scan it for you, it'll at least tell you what the outside composition is, down to a percentage.
Or use your scrap money to buy an XRF gun, they're only like 20-40k lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:30 am 
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Quote:
they're only like 20-40k lol.


It’s not all that bad.
Some like ValTek start around $2000 though they’re on the low end of quality.
Evident hand scanners are in the $10-$25k range.

The. Again large stationary units cost millions.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 10:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:44 pm
Posts: 997
Location: I'm right here :D
Too bad companies just can't be required to mark all their materials or something... :D Love seeing Mg and ZA-8 and such on things, no need to test.

Hey lost, sent you an email, figured you were busy but maybe it got buried over the holiday weekend?

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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
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Rather tied up busy week heading into another of the same.

I cover your and all other emails when I have more than a moment of pause.
I’d rather be helpful, useful, and accurate, than just quick.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2022 7:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:44 pm
Posts: 997
Location: I'm right here :D
No worries!

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